If you’re thinking of expanding your kitchen, you’re not alone. According to the 2023 Design Trend research report from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), many homeowners will expand their kitchen’s square footage this year, often by breaking through walls and taking over adjoining rooms.
There is also a need for increased kitchen storage with solutions like walk-in pantries and butler’s pantries. This is mainly due to lifestyle changes caused by the pandemic – stockpiling goods because of food shortages and people accumulating more kitchenware by cooking at home so much more often.
The trend report also shows an uptick in adding larger or double kitchen islands to serve multiple purposes, such as offering a second sink or cooktop, making a serving area or creating a space for doing homework and making video calls.
These new configurations have changed how we light the kitchen. Builders usually install recessed lights throughout a kitchen and sometimes place a light over the center island or breakfast nook area. If you are remodeling your kitchen in a way that changes the shape or the flow, the previous lighting may no longer be in the right location.
Lighting a Walk-In Pantry
The typical existing pantry is a shallow closet with shelves and without any lighting. If you are building a walk-in pantry, the deeper space will create shadows on the shelves. Adding a flush mount ceiling light or under cabinet lighting evenly illuminates the area so that you can easily see what’s on every shelf!
Some walk-in pantries and butler’s pantries can accommodate a hanging light. In that case, follow the tips for pendant sizing in a room here and ensure that you can open cabinet doors or reach items on shelves without hitting the light.
Flush mount suggestions: Millennium Lighting flush mount, Savoy House LED disc light, Kichler Pira flush mount, Trade Winds Felton flush mount
Under cabinet suggestions: Savoy House LED under cabinet light, WAC Straight Edge strip light, Kichler 4U Series under cabinet light, Maxim Lighting CounterMax under cabinet light
Lighting Two Kitchen Islands
Lengthening the kitchen island or adding another island will also require more light. Instead of installing one large linear lighting fixture, many designers hang two or three smaller pendant fixtures above each island. Doing this provides more illumination than a single fixture and does not look visually heavy.
Some designers like to use outdoor lanterns as kitchen pendants because they provide an authentic farmhouse charm or refined rustic aesthetic. There’s nothing wrong with installing an outdoor pendant indoors — just don’t do the opposite and try to put an indoor light outside!
If you want to use one long light fixture over your kitchen island, there are many options that have slimmer designs and will not look too heavy, making them the perfect visual centerpieces and focal points for your fresh new kitchen.
Read about how to get the right size pendant light here.
Pendant suggestions: Savoy House Willis pendant, Hinkley Palma pendant, Minka Lavery Spyglass Terrace pendant, Kichler Everly pendant
Linear light suggestions: Trade Winds Libra linear light, Craftmade Orion linear light, Minka Lavery Ava Libertine linear light, Hudson Valley Barclay linear light
Outfitting the Breakfast Nook
If you are adding a breakfast nook area to your kitchen, hanging a new lighting fixture over the table creates an instant update.
For most nooks, round fixtures work best. If the area is more rectangular, look for a fixture in a shape that echoes that of the table.
Instead of trying to perfectly match your nook light to the other lights in your kitchen, look for complementary elements that will work nicely together, such as similar finishes and details.
Read more about how to get the right size light over a table here.
Nook light suggestions: Savoy House Shelby pendant, Crystorama Southport chandelier, ET2 4 Square pendant, Mitzi Cassidy pendant
Lighting Is a Budget-Friendly Update
If carving out a pantry or creating another kitchen island is not in the cards, upgrading kitchen lighting provides a refreshing and noticeable update without the huge expense.
LightsOnline offers a great selection of pendants, chandeliers and ceiling lights at budget-friendly prices, so you can get a new look without breaking the bank! Make sure to check out our Clearance and Overstock sections for extra special deals.